Monday, June 15, 2009

Veolia reportedly drops light rail project, but campaign goes on

Adri Nieuwhof, The Electronic Intifada, 14 June 2009

"On 8 June the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz announced that French transport giant Veolia might abandon the light rail project that will connect Jerusalem with several illegal Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land. Reports also indicate that Veolia wants to pull out of the 30-year contract to operate the train and is also reportedly trying to sell its five percent stake in the City Pass consortium to Israeli bus companies......

The "Derail Veolia and Alstom Campaign," carried out by activists in many countries, is pressuring the two French transport companies to quit the light rail project. In early June, the leading French newspaper Le Monde published an article summing up the successes of the campaign, reporting that the company is losing money because of the publicity of its role in a project that is in violation of international law. After pressuring the mayor of Tehran over Veolia's role in developing the city's transport system, the London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission was informed two weeks ago of Tehran's decision to cancel Veolia's involvement in the transport system. To date, Veolia has steadfastly refused to provide information about its participation in the light rail project......"

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